Move Over, TeamViewer: Zoho Assist Is a Remote Access Champ

This is a sponsored article and was made possible by Zoho. The actual contents and opinions are the sole views of the author who maintains editorial independence, even when a post is sponsored.

Zoho Assist is a remote support and access program similar to the well-known TeamViewer application. While TeamViewer might dominate that market share, Zoho Assist is better in many ways. It’s lighter, cheaper, and, in some ways, even more capable than TeamViewer.

Assist works for everyone, from a single individual with multiple computers to a department filled with technicians. The software supports all major operating systems, including Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android. It’s designed specifically for tech support, enabling customer support technicians to solve problems faster by focusing on the customer, not the screen-sharing software. Let’s explore what makes Zoho Assist such a useful application.

What Is Zoho Assist?

Zoho Assist is a lightweight screen-sharing application built specifically for tech support. If you’re new to screen sharing, it connects two computers over the Internet. One computer, the host, can view the screen of the other computer, the client. This is almost always a one-way valve, allowing tech support on the host machine to assist a user on the client machine.

These apps come in two flavors: the primary Zoho Assist app and a Zoho customer app. The customer app allows a user of the full Zoho Assist program to quickly pipe into the client device and observe and control the user’s device. The customer app doesn’t have the capability to connect to another device but rather enables other connections to occur.

Features, Plans, and Pricing

The free edition of the software is broadly supported and powerful enough for a sole proprietor to run occasional support calls. Zoho’s lightweight client applications for macOS and Windows are included in the free tier but not the mobile apps for Android and iOS. You can run one concurrent session, instantly chat through the screen-sharing session, share clipboard data during a session, and access up to five unattended machines. The software also integrates with Zoho’s other products: the customer service and support tracker Zoho Desk, and the live chat application Zoho SalesIQ.

File Sharing

With the standard version you get access to a boatload of additional features alongside Zoho Assist’s core functionality. You can transfer files between machines during a session, send a Control + Alt + Delete key press to the client machine, and reboot and reconnect, which keeps you connected to a client device even after the machine is rebooted.

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Reboot and Reconnect

Reboot and reconnect is one of the most interesting features offered by the platform. With this feature Zoho can be configured to automatically restart the last remote connection upon rebooting the client device. This allows you to reboot devices remotely and connect to them again from your host machine as soon as they are available, reducing both turnaround time for repairs and minimizing client participation and the attendant errors of the less tech savvy.

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Additional Paid Features

In addition, the mobile apps for iOS and Android unlock at the Standard price level, and screen capture and session transfer allow you to log sessions visually and easily between technicians. At the time of writing all these features will run you less than $100 a year per technician account. That’s dramatically less expensive than TeamViewer, whose paid tiers start at $50 per month. Thanks to per-user pricing, Zoho offers similarly-capable features for a fraction of the cost.

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Multi-monitor support allows you to select which of the client monitors you want to see. This is a better system than the other two options, either restricting you to the main screen or showing both screens at all times. This way you can flip between full-size screens without squinting at tiny user interface elements.

You can also cover Zoho Assist with your company’s own branding. Many Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) companies offer white-labeling features like this. However, Zoho is one of the few remote support apps that provides rebranding without an on-site installation.

Zoho offers additional paid tiers, adding more resources and tools with each step. To fully explore Zoho Assist’s feature set at various levels of subscription, check out Zoho Assist’s plan and pricing comparison page.

Unattended Access Features

The unattended access portion of Zoho Assist primarily targets remote software deployment. For simple deployment, Zoho works with the Bulk Deployment Manager or Startup Script via your Windows Group Policy (GPO). When using unattended access on a machine, you can send shutdown, restart, log off, lock, hibernate, or standby signals. You don’t even need to start an unattended access session.

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Of course, unattended access also permits remote control of connected devices. There’s actually a specific plan available for folks that need unlimited remote management. This way you can use Zoho Assist to remotely manage a fleet of computers. You won’t get the technical support features of the app, though. You might find that having everything inside one app is easier. This may make the standard tiers of Assist more appealing. Do your homework on your needs and try a free demo. This way you can make sure you’re getting everything you need to run your business smoothly.

Audits and Reports

For management, you get access to user reports and automatic activity logging data. This helps to count the number of support calls in a given time period, allowing you to dynamically allocate resources, personnel, or training, depending on historical data and current hot spots. You can also add notes to these sessions, providing a more detailed analysis that might otherwise be available.

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Email templates keep your client communication uniform. These templates auto-populate with relevant information, including a session link. This reduces the bookkeeping workload on your technicians, letting them focus on what they do best. The system keeps your techs focused on the customer, not their software.

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In addition, Zoho Assist offers screen recording for full session logging, two-factor authentication to protect accounts, action log viewer to backtrack what the tech did, and 256-bit AES encryption to secure your sessions. It’s also compatible with all major anti-virus software, preventing the rogue alerts and problematic conflicts that can occur when an antivirus program like Norton suddenly realizes you have a remote connection utility installed.

Conclusion

Starting a session is quick and intuitive, which isn’t always the case with network-based applications. But the applications respond quickly, with sensible control schemes and only minor lag. Of course, that depends on your network connections. But under good conditions, you should experience real-time response, even if the frame rate is poor. Zoho Assist is a worthy competitor for TeamViewer, especially when used to provide remote technical support.

Try and find out for yourself! Get a free trial of Zoho Assist.

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